PEOPLE who refuse to comply with security checks or cause a disturbance to the public order on the city’s subway network could face a criminal detention, a senior Metro police officer said yesterday.
In the past, the punishment was issued only to those found guilty of carrying forbidden objects on the underground network.
“Safety checks are necessary and we will be more strict about them in the future,” said Song Youguo, deputy director of Shanghai Metro police.
Under general guidelines, subway officials are told to ensure that all large bags are electronically scanned and to use their judgement regarding smaller ones.
“Our staff will decide which bags have to go through the checks. Anyone who disobeys them or behaves aggressively or violently in such a way as to disrupt public security will face a punishment, including penal detention,” Song said.
The incidence of crime on the underground, including assaults on subway staff and police officers, has been on the rise. Since the start of the year, 10 people have been charged with such offenses, while 17 Metro employees have been dismissed for neglect of duty.
Without the security scanners, the number of dangerous incidents could be a lot higher.
On March 19, a man was detained after trying to carry two 20-centimeter-long kitchen knives on to the network in his backpack. The 46-year-old later said he had been planning to murder his girlfriend, who had recently broken up with him.
Passengers can also be punished for carrying items included on the restricted list.
On March 3, a man was given an administrative detention after being caught trying to sneak eight pressurized canisters past security guards at Line 7’s Changshou Road Station.
Police said they are also keeping a close eye on Metro staff who shirk their responsibilities face dismissal.
On February 10, a guard at Caoyang Road Station was sacked for dereliction of duty after he allowed two people from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to carry a basket of pigeons on to a train.
Also yesterday, Metro police published an expanded restricted-items list.
Among the new additions were flammable items such as solid alcohol, phosphorus and rosin oil.
In the first four months of the year, 1,900 knifes, 165,000 firecrackers, 350 liters of oil-based paint and 88 replica guns were among the restricted items detected during routine security checks at Metro stations.